Could I-5 one day be a big place for self-driving trucks?

by | Sep 26, 2018 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

Self-driving technology could have many different applications in the future. For example, there is the potential for it to lead to there one day being large fleets of self-driving trucks out on the roads. Might Washington see a lot of self-driving trucks in the future?

Report names I-5 as a top spot for such trucks

It very well could, as a recent report underscores. The report, by the company INRIX, looked at four different traits to determine what stretches of road in the U.S. would be the best places for the operation of self-driving trucks. These traits were road length, congestion levels, traffic incident levels and freight amount.

Through the review of these traits, the report found the stretch of I-5 that goes through Washington and Oregon to be the best place for self-driving trucks in the country.

The potential safety impacts of self-driving trucks

Having trucks be operated by automated systems rather than human drivers could have many impacts. This includes safety effects, as many of the common causes of truck accidents relate to human error. So, one wonders, if I-5 does one day become a major corridor for self-driving trucks, what this will mean for overall safety on that stretch of road (including how common truck crashes are).

Significant use of self-driving trucks still appears to be a ways off

Now, while there have been some tests of self-driving trucks, it looks like it will still be awhile before such vehicles have a major presence out on the roads. According to predictions from the INRIX report, the next five years are unlikely to see much in the way of use of such vehicles out on the roads. However, the report predicted that, in 20 to 50 years, the use of self-driving trucks may be widespread.

One wonders if I-5 might see widespread use of such trucks earlier than other areas, given what the report found regarding this road’s suitability for them. It will be interesting to see what exactly the future holds for I-5 and other thoroughfares when it comes to self-driving trucks.

What are your thoughts on self-driving trucks? What do you think of the idea of such vehicles one day having a major presence out on I-5?


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